Overall, I think ABS has good intentions when it comes to creating a quality sustainable product. They don’t test on animals, they omit a lot of harmful chemicals and they try not to have any environmental impacts. However, I think they can do better. For example, I feel like they're just trying to check a box by using “sustainable” palm oil while choosing to ignore the implications that has on the world.
All of ABS’ ingredients are plant and mineral based, with the exception of some of their goats’ milk products. Their bars don’t contain any: EDTA, Parabens, HEDP, Phthalates, SLS, SLES or PEGs. ABS claims that they are dedicated to using sustainable plant oils in the manufacturing of their bars, however, the number one ingredient in all of their products is palm oil. Palm oil is being overharvested and is a major cause for deforestation which is threatening many flora and fauna. Even certified sustainable sourced palm oil contributes to these problems because “many growers lack transparency, fail to consult indigenous people, and are able to flout environmental rules set by ethical certification schemes.”
All of ABS is triple milled. To manufacture traditional soap, you have to heat the fats and oils to have them react with liquid alkali, this process is known as saponification. When triple milling, you still use the saponification process but while also adding the fragrances and colors so that they are mixed in well. After saponification, the bar is cooled and then grated into fine particles, creating a rough and gritty texture. To smooth out the particles, they are rolled and turned into a paste at least 3 times. This triple milled process is known as the most efficient way to make high quality soap, which makes it much better for people with sensitive skin too. Even though this process sounds like a great way to make soap, ABS doesn’t share any information on ethical labor practices in their supply chain.
ABS is a family owned and operated business that keeps the health of the community in mind. Aside from doing this by trying to create quality products, they also like to give back to the community. In 2020 ABS donated about 1,250 bars to The Salvation Army during the holiday season. Then in 2021, ABS made a donation to GriefLine, a free Australian helpline offering confidential phone counseling and support to anyone experiencing grief, loss and the many associated feelings they experience as a result.